Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bookish Goodies Vol. 5 Harry Potter Edition

*this post contain an affiliate link, please check out my review policy for more info

This edition of my Bookish Goodies guide is almost too easy to write. I think the hardest part is going to be only picking ten items! 

As I have mentioned before, I am a Harry Potter fan. I read the books to my children when they were young. We have all the movies and plenty of merchandise. The library I work at is about to have our second annual Harry Potter night, which is always a blast. And I think it is perfectly acceptable to enjoy the Harry Potter universe as an adult. 

So, at the request of a few friends who recently made Potteresque purchases, I decided to throw together my 5th Bookish Goodies Guide. Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did putting it together!! Etsy is FILLED with Harry Potter themed goodies...

 Harry Potter Bottle Opener on Etsy, review on Tomes and Tequila blog

Okay, I'm starting a bit easy on this one. I would love to pull this bottle opener out during parties to open people's drinks. It would just make me happy in a very nerdy sort-of way. But then I write a book blog, so it would be expected of me. You can find it on Lightknife for $10.99+

 Harry Potter Starbucks Mug on Etsy with review by Tomes and Tequila blog

This genuine travel Starbucks mug comes with "This May Be Butterbeer" around the logo and can even be made in your Hogwarts house colors...and with a personalized handwritten font name on the back. It doesn't come a whole lot better than that really. You can find it on CleverHollyDesigns for $10.95+. 

Harry Potter Starry Night on Etsy with review by Tomes and Tequila blog

I absolutely adore pictures done in the style of Starry Night, for some inexplicable reason...and this print of Hogwarts is gorgeous. This would look great on the wall, and comes in many different sizes. Although the shop is in Bulgaria, the shipping is cheap and the reviews are terrific. They also have Game of Thrones, Zelda, Doctor Who and Star Wars prints...just to name a few. The starting cost on LetiPrint is $8. 

 Harry Potter Pencils on Etsy

Call me old fashioned, but I'm a fan of pencils. Maybe it's because I work in an office, and use pencils daily...but I also think they make cute gifts. Whenever one of us at the library go on a trip, we usually bring back a small gift for the coworkers...and I have brought back pencils more than once. I believe my coworkers all have Naval Academy pencils at their desks...why not have Harry Potter ones also? It sure makes it easier to figure out who stole your writing implement. These can be found on IceyDesigns for $13.95

 Hagrid T-Shirt on Etsy

Eh...can I blame putting this shirt on my list on my daughter?? This Tee just cracks me up. I would wear this. I don't know where I would wear it...but I would totally wear it. It would probably embarrass the crap out of my husband, but who cares really. Hagrid would totally be my homie. You can find this on GeekDownApparel for $11.62.

I am just in love with these Converse decorated with the Marauder's Map from Harry Potter. Done in waterproof fabric markers and a hand so skilled, I'm in awe...these would definitely be attention getters. EmbeditArts sells them for $111 but they also have Toms and Vans for significantly cheaper. 

 Harry Potter Shot glasses on Etsy

Clearly nothing says a children's book quite like a shot glass. (I'm kidding...really) But with a blog name like Tomes and Tequila, I feel compelled to do things like put alcohol related book items in my shopping guides. Anyway...for $24 on BoosTinyBits you can have a set of 5 Harry Potter shot glasses, one for each house and one general Hogwarts crest glass. Do with them as you wish...

 Harry Potter quote print on Etsy

I think this A4 sized Harry Potter quote is just beautiful. Stag designs are very popular at the moment, but when paired with a quote like this one it becomes more than just a trendy decor item. AlwaysBookish has a lot of great book themed artwork, and at a terrific price point. This one goes for $6.46, and I bet a lot of people wouldn't even know what book the quote came out of. 

 Harry Potter Scarf on Etsy

I love this Harry Potter Infinity Scarf, and I honestly wish I would've ordered it in time for our program coming up at the library. To me, especially in my workplace, a fun scarf is the perfect accessory to really show your personality. I have a coworker who wears fun t-shirts, but I'm not so much a goofy t-shirt gal as a scarf gal...and this Harry Potter newspaper patterned scarf for $18.90 at Aslidesign would go great with one of my many black tops. 

 Harry Potter Grim Tea Cup

Since I've covered my coffee and alcohol drinkers, I figure I should have something for the tea drinkers on my page. I think this Grim Tea Cup Set is just hilarious. I imagine people who didn't know what cup they were drinking out of might be a little upset once they got down to the bottom and saw what was waiting for them. DragonHatcheryArts offers two sizes, starting at $14.50, just don't offer it to the skittish in your life.

And just because I couldn't help myself...

 Snapechat coaster from Etsy

I present to you the Snapechat coaster from KatieAbeyDesign for $4.52. You can thank me for this later. I think I've already told y'all that I'm a big fan of Snapchat...but Snapechat takes it to a whole other level. This is specifically for my friends K and A, I love y'all 😊

So there you have it, a few of my favorite Harry Potter themed items from Etsy. If you've never lost hours perusing the site, perhaps your pocket book is better off! I am a huge fan, and I love buying items on there that are a little different from what everyone else has. 
The PERFECT Snapchat Filter
Do you have a book or book series you'd like me to do a shopping guide for? Let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It Begins In A Garden Review

*this post contain an affiliate link, please check out my review policy for more info

 It Begins In a Garden by Sarah N.B. review by Tomes and Tequila blog
Every once in awhile one of my kids asks me to read something that they really enjoyed, or they feel passionately about. My daughter recently brought my attention to a small book of poetry written by someone she follows on Tumblr.

My girl, on the blog known as Thing 2, is intrigued by Angels and the stories that surround them. For new readers, I will re-state that she is 19 and away at college. I would most likely read anything she wants me to at this point, just in an effort to be closer to her. Along with being my second born, she is also one of my best and closest friends. She is a knucklehead intellectual who forces me to think deeper about a lot of things than I normally would. So when she told me that she really enjoyed some of the tidbits this woman had shared on Tumblr and wanted to read her published book I said "How about I get it for the blog, and when I'm done with it I'll mail it to you with my notes."

So that's how It Begins In a Garden by Sarah N.B.  ends up being reviewed on a 41 year old who has also reviewed Bridget Jones's Baby's book blog.

This small (I believe it's 91 pages) book of religious poetry and prose is not for everyone by a long shot. You definitely have to know theology to have any idea of what's being talked about, and yet some of it might put off the more staunch follower due to it's more progressive passages. It is both a very Catholic book, and yet not a Catholic book at all. Reverent and yet irreverent. It is basically a very well-written enigma of religious prose.

It was easy to see why my daughter would follow this writer online. Her favorite Angels Michael and Gabriel played their parts...although the passages dealing with them were not my personal favorites. We'll have to see which speak to Thing 2 the most once I've passed it to her.

My favorite "chapter" is called Spem In Alium. It involved a priest being pestered by angels...and one in particular having issues with how much involvement he should have in people's lives, and whether the priest could take his confession. I honestly would read an entire novel of this story.

I enjoyed reading this for a couple reasons. One was, of course, the shared experience of knowing I will have the chance to discuss this with my daughter once I've sent it her way. One of my favorite parts of attending church was going for a coffee afterwards and talking to her about what we'd learned and how it fit into our personal beliefs, etc. Another reason was just shaking up my reading a bit. I occasionally get in a rut of reading the same types of books, and I'd prefer to hop around from genre to genre. I don't want to become a stale and stagnant reader. I want to stay excited by my books.
 It Begins In a Garden was like a wake up call to continue trying to find diversity in my reading.

So, although I can't say this book is for everyone, I'm giving it 4 stars. I know this is an odd meandering review, but my main point is that I'd like to challenge everyone to every once in awhile read something different. Pick up a book in a genre you don't normally read, or one about a culture you're not familiar with. I think it's important to shake things up and open yourself up to new adventures in your reading life. You might find something new and exciting that you didn't even realize you enjoyed. Like religious poetry...

Have you read anything outside of your norm recently?? Let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page

Monday, January 23, 2017

Book Giveaway Winner!!!

*this post contain an affiliate link, please check out my review policy for more info

I just wanted to do a short but sweet post tonight to share the winner of my very first book giveaway!!

Both Love Warrior and The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness were favorites of mine in 2016 and I hope that the lucky winner enjoys them as much as I did.


The winner of my first giveaway is...Brittina Wiese!!!!

I will get these two books off to you as soon as you can send me your address!!

Many thanks to everyone who entered my first ever giveaway. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing what your favorite book of 2016 was, and what your reading goal is for this year. I added quite a few books to my enormous TBR list.

My goal with this blog has always been for it to feel like my book clubs...a place to chat with my girl friends about our love of books and everything else going on in our lives. I really do live for comments from my readers, so please remember that in the future!!

Since this is such a short and sweet post, I should have a review up tomorrow for you!!  And once again, thank you for all of the shares and entries. I couldn't have asked for a better first giveaway. You all rock!!!

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Elementals Review

*this post contain an affiliate link, please check out my review policy for more info

 The Elementals by Michael McDowell book review by Tomes and Tequila blog
For book club this month, my horror-movie-loving fellow dislocated-coonass neighbor Kris (whom I love, thank you) picked The Elementals by Michael McDowell, a 1981 southern-gothic supernatural horror story. 

Before I get into what a great diversion from my recent reads this was, I've gotta say sorry for the late night Instagram photo being used as my promo pic. We Interlibrary Loaned our copies of the book, and I turned mine back in before I could get a really good photo to use for the blog. Initially I thought I was going to have to "borrow" an online pic but then I remembered a few days ago I stuck a quick shot, mainly highlighting my Rumchata-laced hot chocolate, up on IG the other day so I'm using that. It's not the best photo, but it's better than nothing!!

But anyway, back to Book Clubs and Gothic Horror...

For whatever reason, I didn't really read up on this one before it arrived at the library for pick-up...and I have to admit, I kind-of judged this book by it's cover. I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this small book from the early 80's with the goofy-looking house on the front. But boy was I wrong.
This is true gothic supernatural at it's finest. You really get through about 3/4 of the book before anything "horror" comes into play. It just meanders along, because it's set in the South, with a little creepy here and another little creepy there...and then all of a sudden people are eating eyeballs and crap. 

Here's the first paragraph of the description on Goodreads, because I'm just not that talented: 
"On a split of land cut off by the Gulf, three Victorian summer houses stand against the encroaching sand. Two of the houses at Beldame are still used. The third house, filling with sand, is empty...except for the vicious horror which is shaping nightmares from the nothingness that hangs in the dank, fetid air."
The Savages and McCrays have gone to their summer houses to get out of Mobile after the death of the Savage matriarch. There has always been something about the third house at Beldame. Young India McCray is bound and determined to figure out what it is.

This is a quiet book that just keeps building. You know the kind...where you just see a shadow out of the corner of your eye...or that blurry image on a photo? And then the incidents just get closer and closer together? India won't let it go.

With the aid of Odessa, the family's hired help of many years, she sets out to not necessarily solve the mysteries of Beldame but at least figure out why it has scared her father since he was a child...and why that hall door mysteriously closed when she was peeking in the window if the house is abandoned?
There were a few passages that stuck out like sore thumbs when reading in 2017...things that probably wouldn't be put in now without an explanation. I'm pretty sure the toss-away drug comments and the casual way a thirteen year old India was around her naked father, referencing his sex-life etc, were meant to show them as bohemian New Yorkers juxtaposed against their stuffy Southern family. But it also felt odd to a modern day book club. I just kept cracking jokes about how this story would look now with cell phones....

But I really enjoyed this book. I give it a solid 4 stars, if not a 4 1/2. Maybe I'm feeling nostalgic, as it's definitely a book of it's era...because I can tell it belongs sitting on my mom's bookshelf alongside her Stephen King novels. I was sad to see that the author passed away in 1999 of an AIDS-related illness and Tabitha King was the author called in to finish his last book. I'll definitely have to look into reading a few of his other novels because this was a great return to the horror books of my childhood. (Yes, I grew up on horror...take it up with my mom)

I have really enjoyed this book club because we are picking a CRAZY variety of books to read, which I think is terrific. I tell people all the time that I will read just about anything so I really enjoy getting the chance to see what other people find enjoyable. It probably gives y'all a small case of whiplash though...

Are you a fan of horror books? If so, whose your favorite author? I grew up in a house with a book shelf encompassing an entire living room wall filled with Stephen King and other assorted horror writers, with a few other genres thrown in for fun. Let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page. And remember that my book giveaway is still open until January 24th, 2017 so head over to this post for all the details!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Year We Turned Forty Review...

*this post contain an affiliate link, please check out my review policy for more info

 The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke review by Tomes and Tequila blog
After all of my crazy self-help books recently I figured it was time to give y'all a nice contemporary chick-lit fun and easy read to change things up a bit. I've had The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke sitting on my To-Read pile for a few months now, since I read their book Your Perfect Life and decided to see what else the best-friends had written together. 

Just like Your Perfect Life, The Year We Turned Forty mixes modern contemporary literature with a slightly mystical element. Whereas that was slightly freaky-fridayish, this one is all about a magical do-over. 

The book introduces us to three best friends, Gabriela, Jessie and Claire, at their 40th birthday party. This is a big year for them and it sees huge changes in all of their lives...from giant career explosions to divorce and family deaths, it's a momentous time. 

We next see them meeting up in Vegas for their 50th birthday extravaganza, where they decide to see a famous "magician" do his big act and are invited backstage after the show to meet the entertainer. He very mysteriously gives them the opportunity to go back and re-live their 40th year over again. There is of course the catch that they all must decide to go...and that at the end of the year, they all must decide whether to stay with their new timeline or return to their 50th birthday..and it's an all or nothing deal. Some want it more than others, but in the end they decide to take the magicians offer and see if hindsight can change their lives for the better.

Claire is given a chance to spend more time with her mother who passed away of cancer. If she catches it earlier will things be different? If she changes how she interacts with her daughter, as a single parent, will they have less problems as she matures into an adult herself? And what about that guy that got away??

Jessie lost her husband after she told him their new baby was the product of a one night stand and not their 13 year marriage...but maybe if she keeps her mouth shut this time their marriage will last. I mean, what he doesn't knows won't hurt him right? And the baby's real dad doesn't want anything to do with them....or does he??

Gabriela is about to write the novel of the century...but what if she actually wants to have a baby instead? She'd always said she never wanted children, and her husband had finally come to terms with it. But maybe instead of being a world famous author she really wants to be a mom. But at what cost??

I am giving this entertaining read a 4 stars. It's light and fluffy chick-lit, but I think it would be a great book club pick. It's an easy read, and full of conversation fodder. There were plenty of times I wanted to smack these ladies upside their heads!! But, it really got me thinking...about my best girlfriends...about whether I'd go back to some of the rougher patches in my life and do anything differently, etc. So while being wrapped in a slightly mystical estrogen-filled package, it touched on some incredibly serious subjects.

I like some characters more than others, but I think that's par for the course in an ensemble book like this. I'm still enthralled with the fact that two best friends write novels together, and I'll continue to read their books because of it. I think they have two I haven't read yet...and another on the way soon, so I have more opportunities to enjoy their BFF-Litfest.

So, if you've been reading too many incredibly deep novels, or nonfiction that has you journaling for hours at a time...working out the many ways to change your life as I have recently, and need a little break...this one might be what you're looking for.

Literary Libation: Equal to a Lemon Drop's fun and fruity, but deep down it can pack a punch.

Don't forget, there's still time to enter my book giveaway!! Head over to my giveaway post for the rules to enter, and check out the pinned post on my Facebook page.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Giveaway!!!

Today I have a short, sweet and very special post for you!! I am doing my first ever BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

I have personally purchased a copy of two of my favorite books of 2016 that I'd like to send to one lucky reader of the Tomes and Tequila blog.

The Survivor's Guide to Family Happiness by Maddie Dawson  was originally sent to me by Netgalley, but I have since bought a copy and donated it to my library so I can send our local patrons to it...and bought a copy to share with one of you. I absolutely LOVE Maddie Dawson's writing style, not to mention she regularly likes my tweets...which makes me EXTREMELY happy. This book includes one of my favorite literary characters, Nina Popkin...who I would love to be friends with in real life. This is a great book with a beautiful cover that I hope you'll really enjoy.

The next book in the giveaway is Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I originally checked this one out from the library after seeing it was one of Oprah's bookclub selections, but have personally purchased this copy to share. This memoir resonated with me in a very personal way. It deals with the author's struggles with an eating disorder, drug addiction, and then her husband's infidelity...but is mainly about her struggle to find herself. I shouted from the rooftops about this one for a few weeks after reading it, and it was definitely a 5 star top read for 2016.

So for the nitty-gritty rules of my first ever giveaway, and hopefully I won't bodge this one too much (since I'm new at all this stuff). I know I have readers all over the place, and I greatly appreciate it...especially having lived all over myself...but for this first giveaway I'm restricting it to the United States only. I know it basically amounts to a customs form and a few extra dollars in postage...but I know there are also a few places with restrictions on written I'd like to do a little more research before I open up a giveaway to all locations. Please don't hate me for this one.

Otherwise, you'll have two opportunities to enter and the contest will be open until JANUARY 23, 2017!! at 9 pm cst ...and I'll be using an online random name picker to select the winner. Once the winner is selected, I'll announce the winner on the blog and social media. If your name has been picked, I'd ask that you email me or send me a PM on Facebook with your address so I know where to send the books.

All you need to do to enter is this....
Comment on this post what your favorite book of 2016 was for one entry....
Comment on my giveaway post on Facebook with whether you have a reading goal for this year and what it is.

That is TWO very easy chances to get your name in on this contest, and like I said, I'll be using an online random name picker to grab the winner out of the bunch.

Share the contest if you wish...hold it close to your heart in the hopes of having a better chance at winning...whatever floats your boat. I just wanted to give some love to my faithful readers and share a few of my favorites from 2016. So....leave your favorite book of 2016 in the comments here and head on over to my Facebook page and look for the Giveaway photo from up above and leave your reading goal for  opportunities to win the two books in the picture up above!!! And thank you so much for supporting me.

Friday, January 13, 2017

You are a Badass!

*this post contain an affiliate link, please check out my review policy for more info

 You are a Badass by Jen Sincero review by Tomes and Tequila Blog
Huge apologies for being MIA for a few days. I have been sick and not reading much, just sleeping...which is rare for me, so I was enjoying it while it lasted. I have one more self-help book review for you, and then I promise I'll mix things up a bit again. I just kept seeing this book everywhere, and I felt like it was the universe telling me I needed to read I finally broke down and bought it on my Kindle, and devoured it in an evening.

I'm sure you too have seen the book I'm referring to. You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is everywhere right now...and it's bright yellow eye-catching cover makes it very hard to ignore. My photo doesn't really do the cover justice. It is VERY yellow. Whoever designed the cover was really onto something because you couldn't ignore this book if you tried.

So while I was feeling like death and dreaming of revamping my life, I thought I'd see what Jen Sincero had to say about me being a badass.

First off, this is definitely a no-nonsense straight-talk no-bullshit kind-of book, which is great in one respect and yet not in another. With this particular author I feel like it's genuine...I think it's just her. I've read some of her older work, and this book really does read like she's talking to one of her girlfriends about what she thinks would work to change their lives for the better. She starts off with a real hard line of sitting down and assessing where you are right now and owning "your shit" and going from there. But...and it's kind-of an odd but...I am not a huge fan of the recent batch of badass/bitch/f**k books.
 You are a Badass by Jen Sincero reviewed by Tomes and Tequila blog
Okay, just hear me out. I cuss like a sailor at times...anyone who knows me in real life can vouch for that. And I think there is a time and place for cuss words in writing, for sure. But I think a lot of books now are using it for shock value only. It's the "holy crap, did you see the title of that new cookbook?!?" so you pick it up and flip the pages just to see how many times they can drop the F bomb in that pancake recipe...which is great as a novelty, but it wears off after a while. I also hate it when women call their friends bitches...but that's digressing way too far from the badass title of this book. I feel like this book has got bundled in with a lot of other shock value titles (just check out the customers also bought section) and some of them don't have the balls to live up to them...if that makes sense.

You Are a Badass has a great first half but the second half of the book got a little too out there for me at times, so I'm going to give it a solid 4 stars. You know how much I like having books broken down into implementable steps, and I wish hers had a bit more than it does, but I definitely highlighted plenty of stuff to go back and work my way through. She really does a good job of dumbing down the first 10 chapters of my old Psych 101 textbook, which was nice and helpful...and did a great job of pointing out some crap I should be aware of on my way to badassery.

There is a lot of information in here about changing our inner dialogues for the better...stopping self-deprecating humor, using affirmations and visualizations to work towards goals, giving to causes that mean something to you...all things that have been showing up in the other books I've reviewed recently like How To Live a Good Life and The Miracle Morning. It is all just packaged in a very woman-centric kick-ass way...with sentences like "there's nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of fuck-yeah."
        You are a Badass by Jen Sincero reviewed by Tomes and Tequila blog
I have 217 things highlighted in my Kindle version of the book, and it's only 256 really is a good book, full of all kinds of tips for really being a more badass version of yourself. There were some passages that had a much larger impact on me because of the blunt way Sincero writes, for example when she says to "puhleeze, stop saying how pathetic you are at making decisions. Erase the phrase "I don't know" from your vocabulary...". This is HUGE for me, and her delivery clearly made a much larger impact than anything else I've read on this subject in my adult life.

But there is also a little woo-woo going on in here that I took issue with, which knocked that one star off for me. Her section on money, and going into debt buying a fancy car with the idea that then the money would eventually come into her life, is a little impractical for most people. She spends a lot of time talking about getting your "frequency" right...and then slips in there about using your credit card to pay for a "coach" to help get you to where you want to be, which just so happens to be what the author does for a living. me that felt a little hinky. But there was good stuff intermingled in with the hinky so I would still say it was a pretty good book.

So, have you given in to the Badass books yet?? What do you think of the new risque titles in the bookstore?? Let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page. And as a quick side cute is my Kate Spade Owl Clutch in the photo?? I'd been dying to sneak it in a pic somewhere, although that photo doesn't really do it justice 💖💖

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Bookish Goodies Vol. 4

The Outlander Edition

*this post contain an affiliate link, please check out my review policy for more info

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm seriously jonesing for Outlander right now. I miss Jamie and Claire. I want to know what they are up to, and there just aren't enough teasers on Facebook to keep me truly sated. I just love the characters too much...and Season 3 of the show isn't arriving fast enough. So to fulfill my Outlander cravings of the moment I thought I'd do another Bookish Goodies post...The Outlander Edition!

Etsy is a veritable gold mine when it comes to Outlander items, but here are some of my favorites!

 Outlander Magnetic Bookmark on Etsy
I LOVE these Magnetic Bookmarks, and who wouldn't enjoy this set of Jamie and Claire from HelloPapersCo for $5.99. You can never have enough bookmarks really. If you only knew the stuff I have used recently to mark spots in would laugh your hineys off. But this set is adorable, and a great price too.

 Jamie Frasier Tote Bag on Etsy
Okay, this one just cracks me up. I'm as much a fan of tote bags as I am of bookmarks. It comes with the library/book blogger territory, but this Jamie tote bag takes the cake. For $27 from telahmarie you can let James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Frasier be the gentleman we all know he is and carry your library books for you. This lady has some amazing bags in her shop. (For my GoT fans, she even has Jon Snow!!!)

 Jamie Pillow on Etsy
I'm sorry, but I just noticed she has a PILLOW TOO!! A sweet little Jamie pillow, with his cute little tartan on. This is just too adorable. I can't stop staring at it. I think this might be where my husband draws the line. But if yours is more accommodating than mine, it can be had for $34 from telahmarie. 

 Outlander Soy Candles on Etsy
For those of you who didn't know, book themed candles are a thing. If your favorite book has a reasonably decent-sized fanbase, there are candles out me. This set of Outlander themed candles, to remind you of some of your favorite Scottish sites, can be purchased from LuminousCandlesCo for $26.  I hesitated to think of what the description for the scent of Wentworth Prison would be, but it actually sounds quite nice...not at all like what I thought it would be. 

 Outlander T-Shirt on Etsy
Okay, this shirt just makes me laugh. I don't know where I would wear it, or whether my husband would find it funny or if it would piss him off...but this shirt just cracks me up. It can be had for $15.95+ from FNTEES. 

 Claire Chunky Scarf on Etsy
As soon as Season 1 of Outlander aired on Starz, people oohed and aahed over Claire's chunky scarf...and a bunch of them cropped up on Etsy. I think this is one of the prettiest of the many available to purchase. It can be found from PiperPurls for $40 and would definitely be welcome where I'm living this winter...

 Outlander Love Card from Etsy
This is a simple item...just a tiny little love note. But for the husband of any Outlander fan, it would mean SO MUCH. It's like when I ask my husband if he loves me more than LSU Football. Or when he asks me if I love him more than Pizza. He has seen my eyes when I talk about the Outlander books...and has sat through me watching the Starz show with my girlfriends. He would understand what this meant. You can find it on Etsy for $5.25 from SeptemberProject. 

 Sassenach mug on Etsy
It's a pretty coffee mug...and it says Sassenach on it. I'm not really sure I have to sell it a whole more than that. I'm a bit obsessed with pretty coffee mugs, but I think my husband is going to murder me in my sleep if I buy anymore (not really, he'll just fuss and threaten to throw them away). This one can be found for $15+ from JitterMug.

 claire scarf from Etsy
This Scarf modeled after one Claire wears in Season 2 of Outlander is just too pretty not to include on my list. It's more refined and a little classier than the other one, but both are phenomenally beautiful and show both the incredible costume design for the show and the craftsmanship of the people selling their goods on Etsy. This scarf can be found from KnitPlayLove for $34 without the pin and $46 with. 

 Claire necklace on Etsy
Okay, this one is both on trend and inspired by Outlander. This white Druzy necklace is meant to replicate the "La Dame Blanche" poison detecting necklace that Master Raymond gives to Claire in Season/Book 2 of Outlander...but Druzy jewelry is also very popular at the moment, and this piece would look great anytime. Most people would never know you were channeling your inner Claire. It can be found from DBakerJewelry for $34.

My Outlander thirsts are feeling quenched now that I've sat at my computer for ages scouring Etsy, all in the name of helping y'all find some fabulous book inspired goodies. I don't think I have time in my schedule to re-read the entire series right now. I normally do that every couple of years, but my to-read list is a mile long at the moment, and those books are no joke long. So for now perusing the interwebs will have to do it for me.

Do you have any good books you'd like me to do a shopping guide for? Let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page!  

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Miracle Morning

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 The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod review by Tomes and Tequila Blog
I have the winter crud at the moment, so I have spent a few days sitting on my bum under a blanket on the couch perusing the internet from my phone...basically being a slug. I've been running a fever, hacking up a lung, and haven't felt like doing anything...which really just means I've spent an unusual amount of time on Instagram and Pinterest dreaming of what my life will be like when I feel better again. Y'all know I am a big fan of self-help books in general, but give me the flu and I am doing some intense plotting for how to change my life for the better.

So as I told you over here, I have recently become enamored with bullet journaling. I'm waiting for my supplies to arrive from whatever blizzard buried truck they are in at the moment, but have started outlining how I would like to set up my journal, etc. While scouring the #bujo porn on the interwebs I kept seeing repeated spreads dedicated to S.A.V.E.R.S. and miracle mornings, and finally decided to figure out what on earth these people were tracking. I was on YouTube when the curiosity became overwhelming so I typed in Miracle Mornings and up popped a crap ton of videos of both the author Hal Elrod speaking about his book and a myriad of folks discussing how his book had changed their lives. Their enthusiasm (and my fever-adled brain) convinced me to purchase the book immediately on my Kindle and read it in one sitting.

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM) is a small (172 page) motivational powerhouse of a self-help book.

Now, before y'all think I have lost my mind, I am going to start out by saying...Hal Elrod is not a writer. He says he's not a writer, and as a huge matter how hard I try not to get all high and mighty with my reviews and such...I have to say I agree with him. This book could've used a better editor, and it is written sort-of like an infomercial. The difference in writing styles between this book and How to Live a Good life by Jonathan Fields, for example, are night and day...even though the ideas that they are writing about share certain similarities, and I think go hand in hand.

But, there is a reason motivational speakers are called that...they motivate people...and Hal Elrod is definitely motivating, and excited to share his Miracle Morning idea. You could probably find the key information from this book without buying it, but if you find this idea interesting at all I would suggest just buckling down and buying the book because it excited me like mad.

So the crux of this book is that you wake up earlier than normal and start your day with the S.A.V.E.R.S. Program. S stands for Silence. A for Affirmations. V for Vision. E for Exercise. R for Reading and S for Scribe.  You would start your day with intention and goals in mind instead of rolling out of bed at the last possible moment, after hitting the snooze 5 times and getting ready with just enough time to get to work.

This book uses the verbiage of business people. The author's background is in sales, and there are other versions of this book marketed to different professions like real estate agents, etc...but I think, and I'd say that the women of Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest would back me up on it, that this plan could be implemented by just about anyone.

Is this book for everyone? Absolutely not. If you already wake up bright and early, with a smile on your face and a routine in mind, then you should probably write a book yourself! My husband wouldn't benefit from it because he already has a pretty good early morning routine going. He's been telling me for over 20 years that I needed one myself. But for some reason it sounds different coming from the mouth of Hal Elrod.
So, writing style aside, all I can say for this book is...before I'd even completed it I'd joined a Facebook group for people practicing the Miracle Morning and found an online accountability partner. Last night I took my journal and wrote out how I'd like to implement the SAVERS program, and what time I should get up to go through the routine before work. I downloaded the Headspace App on my phone since I've never really tried meditation...picked which book of the Bible I'd like to start working through next. I downloaded some new personal development podcasts to listen to while walking on the treadmill, and found some affirmations on Pinterest. I am eager and ready to go! I plan on kicking 2017's ASS...if I can stop coughing up a lung.

I'm giving this book 4 stars, mainly because it's got me so fired up. Have you ever read a book that had you making changes before you'd even finished it? Do you have a great morning routine in place that helps you to start your day off with a bang? Let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page.